By Dr. Md. Noman Khan, Unani
Eczema is a medical condition where the skin turns red and becomes inflamed and itchy. Eczema comes in many forms, the most common among which is Atopic dermatitis. This condition begins usually in childhood and gradually fades away or becomes milder as you age.
What triggers eczema?
Eczema is believed to be caused by a combination ofseveral environmental and genetic factors.
- Although eczema is not a contagious disease, it is most often caused due to genetic makeup and family history.
- Excessive consumption of fermented, spicy and fried foods, can trigger eczema flare-ups. Consumption of caffeine, aerated drinks and alcohol, causes eczema. Avoid intake of eggs, dairy products, soy products, nuts and seeds.
- Extreme weather conditions, humidity or perspiration resulting from excessive physical activities, can cause eczema.
- Eczema can also be triggered due to hormonal changes, particularly in women during pregnancy or certain stages of menstrual cycle.
- Certain fungi, viruses and bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, cause eczema.
- Certain conditions such as indigestion, constipation and stress can trigger eczema flare-ups.
Look out for these symptoms!
- Flaky, dry skin
- Red patches on the skin
- Rough, thickened skin
- Itchy blisters
How is eczema treated with Unani medicines?
There are a number of traditional medicines used for various skin problems such as eczema. These medicines aim to help soothe your body through natural remedies that have no adverse side-effects.
- Aloe Vera gel mixed with Vitamin-E oil helps reduce redness and itching on the skin, and thus helps ease symptoms of eczema.
- Boil 20-30 neem leaves (margosa) in 4-5 cups of water for about 20 minutes. Allow the water to cool down and then use it to wash your face or the areas affected with eczema.
- Boil 30gms of mango tree bark and 30gms of Babul bark (Indian gum tree) in 1 liter of water for about half an hour. Use the water to make a warm compress on the affected regions. Clean your skin with a dry cloth after 15-20 minutes. You can apply purified butter on the skin as an ointment as well.
- A strong brew of chamomile tea made from dried, fresh herbs can help reduce eczema. Steep the herbs for at least 15 minutes and then apply it with gauze on the affected areas for about 20 minutes. You will soon be relieved of the itchiness and dry skin.
- Prepare a tea with marigold flower, calendula and 4-5 drops of essential lavender oil. Apply it twice a day on the rough patches on your skin. This helps reduce irritation and itching.
- Essential oils like jojoba oil and olive oil are light, non-greasy medicinal oils used for treating eczema and these reduce scaling when rubbed on the scalp.
- A paste prepared from raw strawberries is an excellent natural remedy for curing eczema. It reduces inflammation, pain and redness that stem from such a skin condition.
- Mix a teaspoon of licorice powder with a slight amount of sesame oil. Warm this mixture on a pan and apply it on the areas affected by eczema. Wrap it over with a bandage and leave it for 3-4 hours. Repeating this twice a day will help improve the condition of flaky, dry skin and inflammation.
Apart from these, eczema symptoms can also be treated by consuming lots of essential fatty acids that are naturally found in sardines, salmons and walnuts. Use moisturizers rich in shea butter to keep your skin moisturized. Avoid strenuous physical activities and mental stress.